Supreme Court asserts itself once again
A lot has been talked about Judicial Activism, an extension of Judicial Review, the latter being an important principle coming under “basic structure of Indian Constitution”. Judiciary has a constitutional obligation under Article 32 and Article 226 to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens by way of writ jurisdiction. Similarly, under Article 13, Judiciary has the duty to declare any law null and void to the extent it contravenes with any of the fundamental rights enshrined in Part III of Indian Constitution.
Recently, the Supreme Court has done justice to the theory of “balance of Powers” and system of “Checks and Balances” by calling out cases of Executive misappropriation of powers or unethical behavior.
- BCCI President and Secretary declared “unfit”
Holding the two individuals for contempt of court due to their obstructionist approach and quotation of false evidence in the court of law, a Supreme Court bench has asked them to desist from any further association with the Cricket body. Their inability to comply with the Lodha Panel’s recommendations to reform the Cricket industry was seen as their unsuitability to hold the job profile.
In this manner, Supreme Court has asserted its rightful position indicating that no government official can act against the orders of Supreme Court or try to bring its dignity down in the public.
- Religious propaganda during elections akin to corruption
In a major blow to political parties across the spectrum, the top court has declared that appealing to the voters on the lines of religion, race, caste, language or community amounts to “corruption” and a candidate can be disqualified for the same.
Here, the Supreme Court has rightly indicated that Secularism is an unbreachable principle enshrined in the Preamble and Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution.
Earlier, in many judgements, both Election Commission of India and Supreme Court have tried to clean up electioneering process to make it more suitable to the Indian context.
- Extension of Judicial Review
Lately, both Parliament and Union Executive have been failing on their legislative responsibilities entrusted upon them by the constitution.
Parliament has been involved in political battles bringing down the legislative efficiency of the houses, with fewer laws and more chaos.
Executive on the other hand has gone on an Ordinance spree with allegations of bypassing the legislative powers of the Parliament effectively ridding itself of any accountability.
In this context, Supreme Court’s decision over deciding the constitutionality of successive repromulgation of Ordinance comes as a big relief.
The Bihar Non- Government Sanskrit Schools (Taking over of Management and Control) Ordinance of 1989 was repromulgated 7 times and was brought to the Patna High Court. The court relied on D.C. Wadhwa judgement and held it unconstitutional.
A Constitution bench of Supreme Court delved into the issue and has effectively broadened its judicial review powers in cases of ordinances. The satisfaction of the President under Article 123 and of the Governor under Article 213 will be judicially reviewed on the basis of relevant material or whether it amounted to “a fraud on power or was actuated by an oblique motive”.
Now even the motives of the Executive will be subject to Judicial Review making it very difficult for it to bypass scrutiny over its actions.